The United States’ market-government hybrid mortgage system is unique in the world. No other nation has such heavy government intervention in housing finance. This hybrid system nurtured the excessively risky loans, financed with too much leverage, that fueled the U.S. housing bubble of the last decade and resulted in the systemic collapse of the global financial system. The responsibility for the massive failures of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at the center of American housing finance and the private securitization system that supports housing finance, falls directly on regulators and indirectly on their political overseers.

More on Housing Markets


Cameron’s Home-Buying Bungle

By Dalibor Rohac. Wall Street Journal Europe. October 2, 2013.

Financial Crisis Reforms Missed the Mark

By Mark A. Calabria. Orange County Register. September 21, 2013.

Fannie & Freddie vs. Wall Street? That’s Wishful Spin

By Mark A. Calabria. August 27, 2013.

Cato Studies

The Paths to Mortgage Finance Reform and Their Budgetary Implications

By Ike Brannon and Mark A. Calabria. Working Paper No. 18. March 18, 2014.

Mortgage Reform under the Dodd-Frank Act

By Mark A. Calabria. Working Paper No. 15. January 27, 2014.

Questioning Homeownership as a Public Policy Goal

By Morris A. Davis. Policy Analysis No. 696. May 15, 2012.

Public Filings

Texas Dep’t of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

By Meriem Hubbard, Ralph Kasarda, Joshua P. Thompson & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. June 16, 2014.

A Legislative Proposal to Protect American Taxpayers and Homeowners by Creating a Sustainable Housing Finance System

By Mark A. Calabria. Testimony. July 18, 2013.

Mariner’s Cove Townhomes Association v. United States

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, Richard A. Epstein & Ilya Somin. Legal Briefs. July 15, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Do Coastal Building Codes Make Stronger Houses?

Carolyn A. Dehring and Martin A. Halek. Regulation. Summer 2014.

Meddling with Mortgage Finance

Policy Report. May/June 2014.


Housing Finance Reform: Past, Present, and Future

Featuring Mark A. Calabria. July 18, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Third Annual Cato Papers on Public Policy Conference

Featuring Jeffrey Miron. June 6, 2013, June 7, 2013. Conference.

Is the Federal Housing Administration the Next Bailout?

Featuring Mark A. Calabria. December 13, 2012. Policy Forum.